asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease was reported to the Ministry as having taken place at Old Fargie, Perthshire, on the 7th instant, and confirmed by their veterinary inspector on the following day, on which date there were 10 cattle affected and 23 not affected; whether he is aware that the diseased animals were not killed until the 11th instant, by which time there were 23 affected; and why this delay and consequent loss and spread of the disease was not avoided by authorising the veterinary inspector to proceed to slaughter the affected animals without having to wait for instructions from headquarters?
Sir A. BOSCAWEN:
The existence of disease in the case in question was confirmed on the 9th February, the authority to slaughter was sent on the 10th February. Owing to the nature of the premises, cremation could not be carried out by means of a large pit, each animal having to be cremated individually, and this may somewhat have delayed the disposal of the carcases. There are no grounds for supposing that further cattle became infected as a direct result of this delay since these animals must have been already infected on the 9th instant. The Ministry's Veterinary inspectors have authority to slaughter animals affected with foot-and-mouth disease if, in their opinion, it would be inadvisable to await the Ministry's covering sanction.
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to an advertisement which has appeared in the Press from a firm manufacturing condensed milk which suggests that the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has rendered liquid milk supplies unsafe; and whether any information in the possession of his Department tends to substantiate the suggestion?
Sir A. BOSCAWEN:
The reply to the first part of the question is in the negative. With regard to the latter part I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Islington South on the 13th instant.